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Foreign Affairs
Gordon Pepper

Through the past couple of months, we here have started to make a trend of covering not only games from the United States, but from other countries. This shouldn't be too much of a surprise, since we could not have had either the prime time game show revolution or the reality show revolution without Michael Davies or Mark Burnett, but I'm not sure if people realize how much of an impact that foreign game shows have had long before the late 1990's/early 2000's - or the game show gems that have barely made a blip yet or have yet to his American shores.

Hence, the assignment that I took on for this week was to create a game show schedule with ONLY foreign based shows. These are either shows that have a home base that's not in America, aired originally somewhere that isn't America, or shows that are not prepared for an English-speaking American audience in mind. To make it more interesting, I am going to program all seven days of the week. Some of these shows will be very familiar to you, some of these shows may surprise you that they aren't from (or originated in) the U.S., and other ones you would have never heard of, because they haven't hit here - but they should. And no, I am not going to take the easy way out and schedule infomercials in the morning. Without further ado...

GFGSN! (Gordon's Foreign Game Show Network)


6:00 am - 6:30 am - The Mad Dash (Canada) - Video Village, anyone? This small variation of it featured one person of a two person team rolling dice and the other person walking across a game board.

6:30 - 7:00 am - Talk About (Canada) - This is a very underrated show hosted by Wayne Cox, which features one team trying to eliminate items describing an object, and another team trying to figure out what the object is from the items remaining.

7:00 am - 8:00 am - Llevatelo (Mexico) - This was one of my favorite games growing up, watching the late Paco Stanley and his assistant Gabriella Reece attempt to give money and cars away to people by doing silly stunts. Think Beat the Clock combined with The Price is Right.

9:00 am - 9:30 am - 15 To 1 (UK) - Fifteen people each have three life bars. You get a question wrong, you lose a life bar. Three wrong answers and you're out. Last man standing wins.

9:30 am - 10:00 am - Temptation (Australia) - Though it was remade in 2005, This is the original Sale of the Century, which came from Australia to the US, courtesy of Reg Grundy Productions

10:00 am - 10:30 am - Wheel of Fortune (Australia) - Now you may ask what this is doing here, but Australia actually aired a version of Wheel before us - 1959, to be exact, long before the U.S. incarnation showed up in 1975.

10:30 am - 11 am - Drück Dein Glück (Germany) - This is the German Version of Press Your Luck. There are no Whammys here - just Hans the money shark, who will eat your money if you land on him. And if you hit the car, the game is automatically over and you win! There will be a Mexican version of Press your Luck in 2006, so watch for it in 4 months or so.

11 am - 12 pm - Bruce's Price is Right (UK) - It just couldn't be a game show station without some form of The Price is Right on it. In this case, we'll take Bruce's Version from England.

12pm - 12:30 pm - Bumper Stumpers (Canada) - This is a fun little game where you had to decipher verbal rebuses on license plates. My license plate could read h8sasi9tv (Hates Asinine TV)

12:30 pm - 1pm - Pitfall (Canada) - Can you get across the eight squared ledge in 60 seconds without falling in a Pitfall? Alex Trebek (who hosted the show) hopes so.

1pm - 2pm - Trato Hecho (USA) - This version of Let's Make a Deal is a  faithful replication of the original version, with Chascos instead of Zonks. Before everyone writes in saying that the show is taped in the U.S. (L.A., to be exact), let me point out that the show is geared towards the Latin American audiences, so that's why it's on the list. Besides, Guillermo Huesca is the man.

2pm - 2:30pm - Everybody's Equal (UK) - The audience is filled with
people. People are eliminated with a wrong answer until 1 person is left.

2:30 - 3pm - 1 Vs. 100 (Netherlands) - 1 person is competing against 100 people in the audience. The objective is to win $100,000 by eliminating the entire audience by correctly answering questions in different categories. Any incorrect answer by the one person, however, eliminates him, and a random person from the people left In the game becomes the new person.

3pm - 3:30 pm - Jackpot! (Canada) - It started in the United States, but it was in Canada where the 16 people, King of the Mountain format got legs and lasted a number of years.

3:30 pm - 4pm - Chain Reaction (Canada) - Like Jackpot!, Chain Reaction had a quick lifespan in America, but lasted in Canada for more than 5 years, thanks to Geoff Edwards.

4pm - 4:30 pm - Definition (Canada) - This word game combines the use of puns and hangman with a twist, as you can only control the puzzle by giving a letter that's not in the puzzle. It plays much better than it sounds.

4:30 pm - 5 pm - Countdown (UK) - The granddaddy of all word and math puzzle shows. Richard Whitley made this game of counting words and solving math equations a classic.

5 pm - 5:30 pm - Lingo (The Netherlands) - It's not just letters, it's Lingo! It's also a classic in the Netherlands, which is how it got reintroduced to the United States.

5:30 pm - 6:00 pm - Liar! (UK) - It's To Tell The Truth Deluxe, as 6 People all claim to be a profession or to have a story. The audience whittles them down until one person is left.

6:00 pm - 7:00 pm - Whose Line is it Anyway? (UK) - So they made a U.S. Version. Big deal. Nothing beats Clive Anderson, Ryan Stiles, Colin Mochrie, Tony Slattery and Mike McShane. Nothing.

7:00 pm - 8:00 pm - 100 Mexicanos Dijeron (Mexico) - If I didn't have the Spanish version of Family Feud somewhere on here, Jason Hernandez would give me a beatdown.

Prime Time
8:00 pm - 9:00 pm - Guerra De Los Sexos (Mexico) - Are the men or women better? Both teams go through a variety of stunts to find out.

9:00 pm - 10:00 pm - Fear Factor (Netherlands) - Did you know that more than 20 countries have their own version of Fear Factor? I love this show.

10pm - 11pm - Fort Boyard (France) - Keeping the adventure theme, a team competes to get 4 keys to unlock prizes. Of course, the stunts aren't Fear Factor caliber, but they are still good.

8:00 pm - 9:00 pm - Pop Idol (UK) - Before American Idol, there was...Pop Idol.

9:00 pm - 10:00 pm - Big Brother (The Netherlands) - Before Big Brother, there was...Big Brother, where the audiences of every other country vote out who they don't want. We tried that on season one, and...let's say that it didn't work out too well.

10:00 pm - 11:00 pm - Deal or No Deal (Australia) - One of 26 briefcases has $2 Million. The objective is to guess low monetary suitcases to increase the buyout total. If I don't put in this game, Alex Davis would give me a severe beatdown.

8:00 pm - 9:00 pm - Pop Idol (UK) - You have to have a results show, of

9:00 pm - 10:00 pm - Millionaire (UK) - I assume you all know that this show started in the UK with Chris Tarrant as the host. If you didn't know that - now you know.

10:00 pm - 11:00 pm - Ultra Quiz (Japan) - What other show do you take 5,000 contestants around the world - and leave people stranded in areas (or have them face penalties) for incorrect answers? I'm waiting for them to do something like this in the U.S.

8:00 pm - 9:00 pm - Big Brother (The Netherlands) - Eviction night!

9:00 pm - 10:00 pm - Expedition: Robinson (Sweden) - This show has 16 people on an island, where they build a civilization and vote themselves off. The show comes into America under the name of Survivor.

10:00 pm - 11:00 pm - The Mole (Belgium) - 12 people attempt to do tasks to put money in a bank - and one person attempts to sabotage them. I personally think that the show is on the easy side, but it's certainly entertaining to watch.

8:00 pm - 9:00 pm - It's a Knockout! (Australia) - Teams compete in 'Almost Anything Goes' like stunts to advance in a tournament. The stunts are ridiculously silly, which makes this one of my favorites.

9:00 pm - 10:00 pm - The Krypton Factor (UK) - Long before Dick Clark hosted the U.S. show, this game, which featured the search to find the most talented individual in both brains and brawn, was introduced across the pond.

10:00 pm - 11:00 pm - Crystal Maze (UK) - A team of 6 people compete in stunts to earn crystals, which will give them more time in the treasure dome. Be careful - a failure to complete a stunt will result in having a teammate locked in a room, where they will have to buy him out with a crystal.

Late Nite (All 7 nights)
11:00 pm- 12:00 am Distraction (UK) - Jimmy Carr's game of no pain, no gain, occupies David Letterman's spot - because this would attract the same sort of crowd.

12:00 am - 1:00 am - Takeshi no Taji (Japan) - This is the original Takeshi's Castle, but you know it better as the show featured on Most Extreme Elimination Challenge

1:00 am - 2:00 am - Za Gaman (Japan) - This is the original Endurance - the big bad granddaddy of Fear Factor shows. How much can YOU endure?

2:00 am - 2:30 am - Banzai (UK) - Place! Bets! Now!

2:30 am - 3:00 am - Who Dares Wins (Australia) - A good, but watered down version of Fear Factor, which is why it's here on late-night.

3:00 am - 4:00 am - Carnal Knowledge (UK) - You can't have late night
programming without a game show with sexual undertones - which would explain why Graham Norton is there as the host.

4:00 am - 4:30 am - Naked Elvis (UK) - This is just bizarre, but strangely addictive. 'Elvis' is your scorekeeper, who takes off his clothes for each answer you get right. You win when your Elvis is naked. It had to be here just for the plain bizarreness of it.

4:00 am - 430 am - Blankety Blanks (UK) - It's the British version of Match Game - but it's on late night because the conservative crowd may have issues with the host being a transvestite.

5:00 am - 6:00 am - Psst... (Germany) - This is the German version of I've Got a Secret. It should be used to this time slot, as it's around when you'd see the black and white versions of it on GSN.

Weekend Programming
6:00 am - 6:30 am - Video and Arcade Top 10 (Canada) - This cross between Starcade, The Video Game and Nick Arcade features kids competing against each other on video games to win prizes.

6:30 am - 7:00 am - Knightmare (UK) - It's Dungeons and Dragons goes electronica - plus it's incredibly difficult to win. A cult classic in Britain.

7:00 am - 9:00 am - Mega Match Sensacional (Mexico) - The yellow team goes up against the green team to try to get enough seconds for one of their teammates to run through a house and win a car. Strangely addicting.

9:00 am - 10:00 am - Reach for the Top (Canada) - This is Canada's version of the Academic Quiz Challenge. When are we going to see these shows come back to the states?

10:00 am - 11:00 am - Classroom Follies (South Korea) - Questions of High School Academic Level are asked - The catch is that everyone in the 'Class' are adult celebrities. This is a game that't both educational and fun - especially when the celebrities screw up the answers.

11:00 am - 12:00 pm - Ant and Dec's Game Show Bonanza (UK) - Ant and Dec are entertainers that frequently come up with games from yesteryear. Though not officially on the air yet, this show is planning on hitting the UK late this year, which means that it's right for the schedule.

12:00 pm - 12:30 pm Hey! Spring of Trivia (Japan). The more interesting your trivia it is, the more 'Hey!'s you get. Hey!

12:30 pm - 1:00 pm - QI (UK) - The show isn't about trivia - it's about
saying interesting things ABOUT the trivia and creating a theme for it. This is much more interesting than it sounds.

1:00 pm - 2:00 pm - Interceptor (Germany) - Two people have backpacks. One of them contains a lot of money. They are both placed on separate sides of a field and must reunite within 40 minutes. They lose if the interceptor stops them from doing so or if the interceptor, with his laser, hits enough locks on the back pack to prevent it from opening.

2:00 pm - 4:00 pm - El Gran Juego De La Oca (Mexico) - This is the Mexican variant of Video Village. Spend 2 hours traversing a game board and completing stunts to win a wonderful vacation and have a chance to win a car.

4:00 pm - 5:00 pm All-Star Poker Challenge (UK) - You can't have a game show channel without a poker show.

5:00 pm - 6:00 pm Happy Family Plan/El Momento De Verdad (Japan/Venezuela) - A family has a week to learn a stunt - and then will get paid off $25,000 if they can complete it a week later in front of a live studio audience. There's a UK version of it too, but I only saw the Venezuela version.

6:00 pm - 7:00 pm - Strictly Come Dancing (UK) - Wanted to know where Dancing With the Stars came from? It came from this.

Saturday Prime Time

7:00 pm - 11:00 pm - Sabado Gigante (US for Latin America) - How could you have a foreign game show channel without the most classic variety game show program ever?

Sunday Prime Time
8:00 pm - 9:00 pm - Gladiators (UK) - We need another show with Mike Adamle. No, I'm not talking about Battle of the Reality Network Stars (though he has been VERY good in that).

9:00 pm - 10:00 pm - Big Brother (The Netherlands) - Well, the show is on 3 times a week. I can't put it on Saturday, so...

10:00 pm - 11:00 pm Iron Chef (Japan) - First of all, I am very addicted to this show. Second of all, if I didn't put this show down, Chico would give me a beatdown.

Well, here's my schedule. I know there will be some disagreement (for example, me not putting on Weakest Link) and I welcome all e-mails. I'll be answering e-mails in a future column.

Gordon Pepper forgot all about "The All-American Ultra Quiz" back in 1980.
Remind him of the greatness of Rowan & Martin at


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